How to Play the Irish Lottery

To play the Irish Lottery, or Irish Lotto as it is more commonly known, participants must choose six numbers from 1 to 47 and if they match all six main numbers they will land the jackpot, which offers a minimum prize of €2 million and can climb far higher when rollovers occur. Matching five main numbers plus the Bonus Ball earns players an average of €100,000, while there are prizes awarded all the way down to matching two main numbers plus the Bonus Ball.

If players do not wish to choose their own Irish Lotto Numbers then they can select the Quick Pick option, allowing the lottery terminal to select six random numbers.

Irish Lotto draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday evening and tickets for the lottery cost €2 each, with a minimum purchase requirement of two lines.

The legal age to play the Irish Lottery within Ireland is 18. All lottery prizes must be claimed within 90 days of the relevant draw, or they are retained by the Irish National Lottery for future use. All lottery winnings and jackpots from the Irish Lottery are paid as a tax-free amount.

Here's a rundown of the Irish Lottery prize structure, odds of winning and prizes:

Number Matched Prize Odds
6 main numbers Jackpot 1 in 10,737,573
5 main numbers + Bonus Ball Average of €100,000 (dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners) 1 in 1,789,596
5 main numbers Prize dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners 1 in 44,740
4 main numbers + Bonus Ball Prize dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners 1 in 17,896
4 main numbers Prize dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners 1 in 918
3 main numbers + Bonus Ball Prize dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners 1 in 688
3 main numbers Average of €9 (dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners) 1 in 54
2 main numbers + Bonus Ball €3 Scratchcard 1 in 72
Overall odds of winning any Irish Lotto prize are 1 in 29

If more than one player matches all six main balls in the Irish Lotto draw then the jackpot is shared between the winning players. In the event of a jackpot not being won, then the total value of that prize rolls over to the following week. There is no ceiling to the amount that can be won on an Irish Lotto jackpot, leading to increased excitement and ticket sales as the value of the top prize grows.

On top of the main Lotto game, players can also opt to take part in the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 draws for a small additional fee. These draws take place alongside the Lotto draw each Wednesday and Saturday and offer players two additional jackpots to play for as well as a range of smaller prizes.

Did you know the Irish Lottery wasn't always a pick 6 from 47 draw? You can read a bit more about the history of the main Lotto game here.